Before He Passed, Kobe Bryant Inked A Deal To Work With Charles Barkley

Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal teamed up together in Los Angeles in 1996, a partnership that turned out well as they won three consecutive titles together in the early 2000s.

After his retirement, Bryant was poised to pair up for a second dynamic duo -- this time, with NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Instead of the hardwood, Bryant and Barkley planned to team up in studio as part of TNT's Inside the NBA.

As Sir Charles tells it, Kobe was signed and sealed, but not delivered.

“We actually hired Kobe Bryant at Turner,” Barkley said on The Draymond Green Show. “But he didn’t wanna do all the other bullshit."

Apparently, TNT's schedule and the commitment needed from its hosts did the one thing to Kobe that NBA defenders never could -- stop him.

"I’m probably gonna get in trouble for saying this, but it’s one of the little things we keep in-house," a chuckling Barkley told host Draymond Green. "He actually signed with us, but … you know, I have to do a bunch of radio shows. I go on this show on Mondays, from Thursday night TNT, same thing on Tuesday, same thing on Wednesday, same thing on Thursday.

"He like, ‘Yeah, I don’t wanna do all that stuff.’ , 'Well, you have to promote the show, Kobe.’"

Once Bryant learned more details about TNT's promotional schedule, the former Laker ultimately decided to drop the mic.

"(Bryant) actually signed with us like, ‘Nah, I’m not doing all that other bullshit," recalled Barkley.

Basically, Mamba Out.

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).